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Preaching to the Unconverted

Uriarte, Maria; Yackulic, Charles B.

Rapid advances in computing in the past 20 years
have lead to an explosion in the development and
adoption of new statistical modeling tools (Gelman and
Hill 2006, Clark 2007, Bolker 2008, Cressie et al. 2009).
These innovations have occurred in parallel with a
tremendous increase in the availability of ecological
data. The latter has been fueled both by new tools that
have facilitated data collection and management efforts
(e.g., remote sensing, database management software,
and so on) and by increased ease of data sharing
through computers and the World Wide Web. The
impending implementation of the National Ecological
Observatory Network (NEON) will further boost data
availability. These rapid advances in the ability of
ecologists to collect data have not been matched by
application of modern statistical tools. Given the critical
questions ecology is facing (e.g., climate change, species
extinctions, spread of invasives, irreversible losses of
ecosystem services) and the benefits that can be gained
from connecting existing data to models in a sophisticated
inferential framework (Clark et al. 2001, Pielke
and Connant 2003), it is important to understand why
this mismatch exists. Such an understanding would
point to the issues that must be addressed if ecologists
are to make useful inferences from these new data and
tools and contribute in substantial ways to management
and decision making.



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Also Published In

Ecological Applications

More About This Work

Academic Units
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
Ecological Society of America
Published Here
November 9, 2014